Pirlo, Pogba & now Can - the incredible list of stars Juventus signed on a Bosman

With the Bianconeri having just announced that Emre Can will arrive in the summer for nothing, Goal looks at the Old Lady's greatest free transfers


    "When Andrea [Pirlo] told me that he would come to Juve," Gianluigi Buffon revealed in 2011, "the first thing that I said was 'Thank God!'"

    The Juve captain's joy was understandable. In what will be remembered as one of the worst appraisals in football history, AC Milan had felt that Pirlo, at the age of 31, was finished at the highest level.

    As a result, they allowed him to run down his contract and join Juve on a free transfer.

    It was, as Buffon predicted, "the deal of the century", with a Juve side coming off the back of two seventh-placed finishes romping to four successive Serie A titles with pass master Pirlo pulling the strings in midfield.

  2. #2 PAUL POGBA

    "The word 'mistake' is not something you would normally associate with Alex Ferguson’s time at Manchester United," Zinedine Zidane acknowledged. "But I do think it was a mistake letting Paul Pogba leave." And a costly one at that.

    Ferguson, understandably, still blames Mino Raiola for Pogba's departure, revealing that he disliked the Italian agent from the moment he first met him, but the fact of the matter is that United lost a player on a free transfer that they bought back in 2016 for a world-record €105m fee.

    Juve certainly couldn't believe their luck, with Pogba making such an immediate impression on then coach Antonio Conte that he rejigged his midfield in order to facilitate the young Frenchman, who would play an integral role in four successive Serie A title triumphs before returning to Manchester.


    Juventus had pulled off one of the greatest deals in their history when they signed Fabio Cannavaro from bitter rivals Inter in 2004 in exchange for reserve goalkeeper Fabian Carini.

    The relatively small centre-half had flopped terribly at San Siro but he was rejuvenated by the Old Lady, so Bianconeri fans were less than impressed when he departed for Real Madrid after Juve were relegated to Serie B in 2006 for their role in the Calciopoli refereeing scandal.

    "Even if I know this may be hard to believe, I would have stayed at Juventus had they remained in Serie A – even with a 30-point deduction," Cannavaro said, trying to justify his decision to those who felt he should have remained loyal to the club that had brought the very best out of him.

    The World Cup winner returned on a free transfer just three years later, intent on reclaiming the affection of the fans with his performances on the field but, unfortunately, Cannavaro was a shadow of his former self and was let go at the end of one trying season in Turin.


    In the summer of 2013, Juventus won the race to sign Athletic Club legend Fernando Llorente, who was one of the most coveted free agents on the market after deciding to leave his beloved Bilbao after eight years at San Mames. 

    The giant striker took time to settle in Turin but he would go on to form a fantastic partnership with Carlos Tevez that fired the Bianconeri to a record-breaking Serie A points haul (102) on their way to Scudetto glory. 

    Llorente, who scored 27 times for the Old Lady, lost his place in the starting line-up to Alvaro Morata during his second – and final – season with Juve but he still proved a valuable squad player, not to mention an excellent, unifying influence on the dressing room, having gone out of his way to welcome both his fellow Spain international and Paulo Dybala into the squad with open arms. 

    Kingsley Coman's Juventus career may not have worked out exactly as either party intended but his signing still represented an excellent piece of business by the Bianconeri. 

    When the French teenager arrived in Turin in the summer of 2014, he was regarded as one of the most prodigiously gifted players in the world and Paris Saint-Germain were distraught that he had decided to let his contract with the club expire so that he could join Juve on a free transfer.

    Coman showed flashes of brilliance in Serie A but he never saw regular game time under Massimiliano Allegri and the impatient winger was allowed to join Bayern Munich on loan at the end of the season as part of a €7m loan deal that ultimately led to a permanent transfer for an additional €21m.

    "I think it is a good transfer operation," Allegri reasoned. "He played only a little last season and it's only right that he moves on if he didn't feel ready to fight for his place here."


    Juventus pulled off quite the coup in persuading Sami Khedira to join them on a free transfer from Real Madrid in 2015. There were doubts over the deal on account of his persistent fitness problems and they appeared to be realised when he was injured in a pre-season friendly. 

    However, while Khedira has since suffered from the occasional niggle, he has proven an excellent addition to Massimiliano Allegri's squad, having played a pivotal role in three domestic doubles, as well as Juve's run to the final of the 2016-17 Champions League.

    The World Cup winner certainly has no regrets over his decision to leave Real, recently admitting, "I have improved a great deal at Juve, both on the field and off it."

  7. #7 DANI ALVES

    Arguably the biggest transfer mistake Barcelona ever made was allowing Dani Alves to leave on a free last summer. Still, the Blaugrana's loss was Juve's considerable gain. 

    The veteran right-back enjoyed a sensational first season in Italy, scoring crucial goals at the business end of the 2016-17 campaign, against Lazio in the Coppa Italia final, and Monaco in the Champions League semis. 

    The bitterly frustrating thing for Juve was, however, that after heeding to Alves' request to leave halfway through his two-year contract for nothing, in order to be reunited with former Barca boss Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, he then performed a dramatic u-turn and signed for Paris Saint-Germain instead. 

  8. #8 EMRE CAN

    Given Juve's objective was to reinvigorate their midfield in the summer of 2018, the signing of Emre Can on a free transfer is a dream deal for the Bianconeri. 

    Although the Germany international has been an often frustratingly inconsistent and ill-disciplined performer for Liverpool, he ticks all of the boxes on the Bianconeri's wishlist, as he is young (24), strong, versatile and technically gifted.

    There is no guarantee that Can will walk straight into the Juve starting line-up but he has all of the requisite attributes to succeed in Serie A and he looks like another excellent free transfer on the Old Lady's part.